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Lynda Loveland: Attitude adjustment

Posted June 16, 2010

Lynda Loveland

The attitude adjustments I remember as a kid are far different than the norm today. Time out's weren't invented yet. I remember being spanked, though not too often. I remember the belt. Only took once! And I remember weeding our half-acre garden. Several times.

I decided to go old school when my 6-year-old daughter was misbehaving over the weekend. A time-out or DS denial just wasn't going to cut it.

As my son and other daughter headed to the pool with my husband, I handed my oldest a tank top and said, It's gonna be hot.

After a few minutes, she settled down enough to change clothes. She finally came downstairs and I informed her of our task: the backyard. Her first assignment was to pick up all the toys in the backyard and on the deck. She said, I can't carry all these. I said, make two trips. She said, it's too hot. I said here's some cold water. After about 15 minutes of work, she started to settle in and a metamorphosis began. Her attitude started to change.

With the toys put away, we set our sights on the screened-in porch. I think I saw a partial smile. I put a rag and a bottle of cleaner in Campbell's hand and told her to wipe down all the chairs and tables while I cleaned the cushions. She became almost cheery, spouting off random animal facts. From there I moved her to the glass doors and railings. After a little bit of redirecting, she finished, in a much, much better mood than when she started. She took pride in the fact her rag was nearly black with dirt and the porch was sparkling.

Mission accomplished. Nothing like a little elbow grease to restore good behavior.

Who's next? Garage could use some work.

Lynda is the mom of three kids and co-host of Mix 101.5 WRAL-FM's Bill & Lynda in the Morning. Find her here on Thursdays.


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  • kittiboo Jun 18, 2010

    I don't know why they didn't make me do chores when I needed an attitude adjustment- which was quite often. My daughter is only 2, so not much in the way of effective at chores, but maybe this will work on her when she's older. I love that you had an answer to her every complaint! Glad it was successful!

  • bhshoula Jun 17, 2010

    Spanking them, starving them, and giving their toys away? Wow Mugu I'm glad I didn't have you as a parent. I got spanked occasionally as a child and the only thing I learned from it was to be afraid of my parents when they got mad. I think Lynda is on the right track. Chores teach your child discipline and respect.

  • HappyGirl08 Jun 17, 2010

    ha! I recall the belt or sitting in my room until I could apologize and be nice. Oh nothing worse than being "mad" at your little brother and being forced to apologize. ha!

  • gwycon2 Jun 17, 2010

    Hard work and a little sweat and supervision never hurt. I remember well "penalty walk", a laid brick path from back door to pecan grove I worked on from age 13 to 17. I also worked many happy afternoons in our garden with my Dad. My ownership in that walk made me proud of it and the garden.
    Suzanne G in NC

  • dhilliard2 Jun 17, 2010

    I am from the old school of getting your bottom end whipped for bad behavior and working off boredom. I have lived to a ripe old age with no problems from these methods of teaching from my wonderful parents.
    Used to when we were kids and cried out we were bored my dad got out the pot of water and rags didn't take but a time or two of hard labor and we kids found things to do to stay out of trouble and not complain we were bored. Kids nowdays are way to soft.... they couldn't make it back in the 50s..60's...70's

  • this is my Screen Name Jun 17, 2010

    No better pride adjustment than seeing what you have accomplished. Good lesson for kids of every age.

  • moo Jun 17, 2010

    I LOVE this!!! Man I wish this would work on my three year old, he's been nothing but nasty attitude lately.

  • sniper Jun 17, 2010

    I love this! I will use it on my own 6-year-old, who lately has getting quite sassy!